What St Louis Park Drivers Need to Know About Their Serpentine Belt

Your serpentine belt drives your alternator and air conditioning compressor. The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in many vehicles. In some vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt (in others it's driven by the timing belt). The radiator cooling fan on some vehicles is also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors.

Serpentine belts do a lot of work for St Louis Park vehicles.  They're tough and can last a long time, but just how long will they last? That'll vary for each individual vehicle. Your vehicle manufacturer will have a recommendation for when it should be changed, but it could need changing sooner. The good news is that a visual inspection at Automobile Service Co in St Louis Park can reveal a belt that's worn.

It's often recommended that the tensioner pulley that keeps the belt at the proper tension be replaced along with the serpentine belt. This pulley is mounted to the engine block with a spring loaded arm.

What are the warning signs that there's a problem with the serpentine belt? St Louis Park drivers may hear a squealing sound from under the hood when accelerating. A loose belt might give you a slow, slapping sound.

If you suspect a problem with your serpentine belt, or if it's just been a while since it was last checked, ask your friendly and knowledgeable Automobile Service Co service advisor to have it looked over.

Give us a call.

Automobile Service Co
5708 W 35 1/2 St
St Louis Park, MN 55416
952.929.0615
http://serviceassistant.autonettv.com


At Automobile Service Co we install quality NAPA replacement parts.

This article reprinted with permission from Napa.

An Ounce of Prevention = A Pound of Cure Pt.1

Avoiding performing recommended maintenance service can come with a hefty price tag. Here are four important steps you can take to protect your vehicle.

Change the Oil Regularly
First up is the simple oil change. Bottom line – if you change your oil on schedule, your engine will be properly protected. Go past the recommended mileage interval, typically every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on driving conditions, and sludge begins to build up in your engine. This sludge can clog small oil passages that keep important parts of the engine from being cooled and lubricated. That is never good for your engine. If your engine has variable valve timing, as most do nowadays, or a turbocharger, then these expensive components are at high risk for failure and expensive replacement. If you’re not sure how often you should change your vehicle’s oil, ask your Service Advisor.

Change Timing Belts and Chains Timely
Many vehicles come equipped with a timing belt. These belts wear out over time and must be replaced, along with the belt tensioner and other system components. If this belt breaks, you could end up with extensive engine damage that can cost thousands in repairs. Most manufacturers recommend changing the belt or chain every 60,000 to 100,00 miles, depending on the make, model and age of the vehicle. If you don’t know if your engine has a timing belt, as opposed to a timing chain, or when it should be replaced, ask your Service Advisor.

Clean Fuel Systems Regularly
More than half of all new vehicles sold have Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines, which can be susceptible to extensive hard carbon buildup on the intake valves. Regular fuel system cleaning can keep the deposits in check, and improve fuel economy, performance, and emissions at the same time. Neglecting this important service for too long may require an engine teardown to media blast, or “sandblast,” the carbon deposits from the valves and cylinder head. And yep, that costs a lot.

Trust Your Check Engine Light
This last item may seem harmless, but it could have serious consequences: your vehicle’s Check Engine Light. Many of the troubles that can trigger a Check Engine Light are related to emissions. The light warns you when the engine is not running efficiently, due to unburned fuel and oil vapors accumulating in the exhaust system’s catalytic converter. When these accumulations get hot enough, they can burn up and damage the catalytic converter. The initial problem may be something as simple as a failed oxygen sensor or even an extremely dirty engine air filter. Ignoring that Check Engine Light could lead to some very expensive repairs.

Set Up a Service Plan with Your NAPA Service Advisor
Performing recommended maintenance (an ounce of prevention) can prevent costly repairs (a pound of cure). Ask your Service Advisor about your recommended maintenance schedule and set up a plan to get caught up on any services you may have missed.

This article reprinted with permission from Napa.

When to Replace Shocks or Struts

If you’ve ever ridden on a boat through choppy waters, you know how unpleasant the ride can be. That’s because there is little to help absorb the impacts from heavy waves crashing against the hull. The road can have a similar effect on your vehicle without reliable shocks and struts to insulate your ride. But when do you know when it’s time to replace your shocks or struts?

It’s recommended to have your shocks and struts checked at 50,000 miles. But there are other tale-tell signs you should look out for that indicate the need to replace your shocks or struts:

  • Uneven wear on your tires
  • Poor steering
  • The vehicle sways or leans when you change lanes
  • Visible damage to the shock
  • Visible wear or cracking on mounts
  • Leaking shocks

So what exactly are shocks and struts? Shocks actually absorb shocks from the road and keep your car from bouncing. Struts are a structural part of the suspension system, they provide a place to mount the coil springs and maintain the height of the vehicle. Broken struts can affect your steering and the safety of your vehicle. Replacing a bad shock can be a fairly simple repair. Struts, however, can be more involved. If you’re wondering how much replacing shocks and struts might be, please check our Repair Estimator.

If you have any concerns about your shocks and struts, stop into your local NAPA AutoCare location. We can take a look at them for you and recommend appropriate service.  

This article reprinted with permission from Napa.